Analytics for a better world initiative & first webinar

Relaying the following communication from Dimitris Bertsimas (MIT) & Dick den Hertog (Tilburg University)

Dear all,

COVID-19 is one of the big challenges our society is facing nowadays, and there are many more. We believe that Analytics can be of much value to improve our world. It is encouraging to see that more and more (especially young) Analytics researchers are enthusiastic to use Analytics to make this world a better place. Analytics has, e.g., already contributed significantly to the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. 

To make these contributions of Analytics for a Better World more visible, and to stimulate research in this area, we have started a new initiative: “Analytics for a Better World Webinars (ABW-W)”.   Every month we will organize one webinar (most probably via Zoom) on a high societal impact Analytics project. The focus of the webinars is not on theoretical innovation, but on impact. These webinars will be recorded, and the videos can be used in your Analytics courses.

The first speaker is Prof. Dimitris Bertsimas (MIT, Cambridge) who will present the ongoing  work of his group of 20+ PhD and Master students and colleagues at MIT ( on a variety of aspects of COVID-19 as detailed in The website contains many  downloadable models and data.

Specifically, he will discuss  

1) a new epidemiological model of the evolution of COVID-19, detailed in

2)  a new machine learning model (based on optimal classification trees) for predicting mortality using data from an Italian hospital from Cremona Italy detailed in Depending on progress he will discuss how to prioritize patients to use ICUs to save more lives.

3) a new optimization model for allocating ventilators  among states in the US detailed in

4) a data generation process from 130+ papers written in March 2020 regarding COVID-19 detailed in  and insights gleaned from it

The emphasis of this work has been rapid prototyping and implementation. This talk also represents an invitation to researchers around the world to contribute with ideas and analyses of their own in a collaborative spirit with the objective to address this pandemic using analytics. 

The precise date and especially the time, depends on the geographical locations of the participants, and will be determined later.

If you are interested in participating in ABW-W, please write an e-mail to Dick den Hertog ( 

Please, feel free to forward this e-mail to others who might be interested in this new initiative.

Kind regards,

Dimitris Bertsimas (MIT, Cambridge, US)
Dick den Hertog (Tilburg University, Tilburg, The Netherlands)